This comes only a few days after the Ministry announced it was seeking to develop three new DEW demonstrators to explore the potential of the technology and accelerate its introduction onto the battlefield.
Laser and Radio Frequency technologies have the potential to revolutionise the battlefield by offering powerful and cost-effective weapons systems to our Armed Forces. This significant investment demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our Armed Forces operate at the forefront of military technology,
...Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said.
The new systems are expected to be trialed in 2023 on Royal Navy ships and Army vehicles but, once developed, both technologies could be operated by all three services.
The Armed Forces will use these exercises to get a better understanding of DEW, test the systems to their limits and assess how they could be integrated with existing platforms.
The Ministry said it aims to invest up to £130m in this package of Directed Energy Weapons, including the construction of the demonstrators, the creation of a new Joint Programme Office and the recruitment of personnel to manage the programme.
These are part of the Ministry's “Novel Weapons Programme” which is responsible for the trial and implementation of innovative weapons systems for the UK military.
The Ministry already has plans for initial trials of laser weapons systems, with the Dragonfire demonstrator commissioned by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory to be tested later this year.
The Dragonfire represents a world-first in laser weapons technology, combining multiple laser beams to produce a weapons system that is more powerful than its predecessors and resistant to the most challenging environmental conditions.